Joplin man disagrees with city about the safety of his property - KOAM TV 7

Joplin man disagrees with city about the safety of his property


A Joplin man is ordered to appear before city officials over a disagreement about the safety of his property.

The issue is with a piece of property on south Jackson Avenue damaged from last year's tornado.

Dale Gordon says his bank is unwilling to hand over insurance money for the property as of now.  So he figured he would wait for that time to come and work could begin.

Gordon is at odds with the city over a matter of definition.

There are no valuables here, but Gordon still feels like he's being robbed.

"Very unreasonable, because I know their own ordinance, it's exempt from this," says Gordon.

He brought the property next to his son's home after the tornado.  He plans to either use it for a rental or eventually sell the property.

But first it needs to be fixed.

Gordon showed us a letter he says he received about two months ago from the city of Joplin.  Gordon was ordered to appear in front of city building officials because the home's foundation, including a basement covered with boards, were deemed a hazard.

"Why am I here?  I say I don't have a structure or building.  I said 'I have a foundation, and your ordinance says it's exempt.'"

Gordon points to a section of the city's municipal code that defines a dangerous building as "when the building or structure, exclusive of the foundation, shows substantial damage".

City officials would not go on camera for an interview but did point us to a few other areas of the municipal code.

Among them a hazard from "whenever the building or structure has become an attractive nuisance to children, or is open to unauthorized or unlawful entry."

Gordon says the city wants to know when he'll start rebuilding.

Gordon says he'll build back in his own time.

"I don't have any idea.  I said whenever I get my son's house built."

Gordon says continued work on his son's home may influence his bank to loan him money to rebuild his own property, this includes insurance money.

Gordon is meeting again with city building officials on Friday morning.

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